Diverticula are pockets that develop in the colon wall, and diverticulosis is the term describing the presence of these pockets. Nearly 50% of Americans will have diverticulosis by age 60; however, this condition is only problematic when the diverticula become inflamed or infected, which is referred to as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis symptoms include: chills, fever, abdominal pain, and change in bowel habits. Should one or more of the diverticula (pockets) rupture, patients may experience more serious symptoms, such as the formation of an abscess or fistula.
Although the exact cause of diverticular disease is unknown, it presents more frequently in patients who consume a low fiber diet. Treatment options for mild cases of diverticulitis often include oral antibiotics, dietary restrictions and stool softeners, while more severe cases necessitate hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics and dietary constrictions. Surgical treatment is only utilized when the patient has not responded to medications, has had recurring attacks of diverticulitis, or has had severe bleeding during a diverticulitis episode. If surgery is required, the diseased part of the colon will be removed and the healthy portion will be re-attached (anastomosed) to the rectum.
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At Pinnacle Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Dr. Ann L. Kalhorn and Dr. Eugene M. Kim are well respected and board certified colon and rectal surgeons. They have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions pertaining to the colon, rectum and anus. We work collaboratively with you to ease painful symptoms and ensure the safe and successful resolution of your colorectal issues. If you would like additional information about treatment, please contact our office today. We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your consultation with Dr. Kalhorn or Dr. Kim.